Coronavirus Update: 36 New Cases, 2 More Deaths In New Hampshire | New Hampshire Public Radio

Coronavirus Update: 36 New Cases, 2 More Deaths In New Hampshire

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NHPR is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in New Hampshire. Bookmark this page for the latest updates, including case numbers and other important news of the day. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage.

Related: What's open and what's not in New Hampshire? Click or tap here to find out.

The latest numbers in New Hampshire
Credit Centers for Disease Control

Scroll down to our live blog for more COVID-19 news and the latest updates.

The most recent update from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services on July 22: 

  • Two deaths were reported, one was a resident of Carroll County under 60 years old, the other a resident of Rockingham County who was 60 years or older. Both were male.
  • 36 new cases were reported. The state's total case number stands at 6,295.

Click here for NHPR's COVID-19 tracker for case and trend data in N.H.

Other important links:

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State Says Testing Capacity Needs To Improve

Update: Wednesday, July 22, 6:45 a.m.

New Hampshire health officials say they hope to improve the state's ability to turn around COVID-19 tests but rising case numbers in other parts of the country are in part to blame for delays.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people, on average, are being tested for COVID-19 in New Hampshire every day. But with most tests going out of state to be processed, it can take a week for results to return.  Gov. Chris Sununu said Tuesday the state is working to speed things up, particularly as schools contemplate reopening, but national demand is making that hard.

Sununu said the state Department of Public Health can process between 300 and 500 tests per day, with a two-day turnaround. Dartmouth Hitchcock also processes tests, sometimes several hundred per day. The state says those results tend to get turned around in one day.

-Josh Rogers

State launches mask-wearing campaign aimed at young people

Update: Tuesday, July 21, 3:45 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu has announced a new public service announcement campaign to encourage mask wearing. The campaign will largely target digital platforms like Facebook and TikTok and includes messaging like “Don’t take a selfie. Take a test” and “This is the one time you don’t want to go viral.”

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The outreach is targeting younger people, those statistically likely to be asymptomatic carriers.

The governor also announced a new mask distribution effort. He says the state will make hundreds of thousands of reusable cloth face coverings available to schools, HHS offices, and other local community entities.

- NHPR Staff

Other updates from this week:

  • Gov. Sununu signed HB 1623, which expands telemedicine in New Hampshire, allowing healthcare providers to be reimbursed at the same rate for remote appointments as for in-office visits.
  • The New Hampshire General Assistance and Preservation Fund targets businesses that did not qualify for other rounds of assistance. Applications for the $30 million dollars in funding are now open.
  • The state's Department of Revenue is reviewing about 8,500 applications from self-employed residents seeking help from the state's SELF Fund, funded through the federal CARES act. 

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New Hampshire State House adopts face mask rules

Update: Tuesday, July 22, 2:00 p.m.

Anyone entering areas of the New Hampshire State House controlled by the Legislature must wear a face mask under a policy adopted today by the Legislature’s Joint Facilities Committee.

The policy exempts children under six or people with health conditions that preclude them from donning a face covering.

Terry Pfaff, the Legislature's chief operating officer, says there will be masks available for people who lack them.

“The goal is to have compliance with this, not to be punitive in any way. But if they don’t comply or refuse absolutely to comply with this policy – if there is not the exemption, or the age exemption -- they will be denied entry. That’s what this policy is stating," Pfaff says.

Masks remain voluntary in areas of the state house not under legislative control, like the governor’s office, executive council chambers, and secretary of state’s office. But legislative leaders say all people will need to wear a mask that covers the face and nose to enter or pass through the State House complex.

- Josh Rogers

New Long-Term-Care Outbreaks Still Emerging in N.H.

Update: Monday, July 20, 8:50 p.m.

Just days after state officials said they had closed out all but a few COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, New Hampshire’s top health official said Monday that new outbreaks are still emerging.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said she took last week off work and thought the state would be on track move towards a new phase of managing COVID-19 at long-term care facilities by the time she returned. But that isn’t the case.

“I was hoping to come back and see maybe two or three facilities at the end of their outbreaks, still on our outbreak list, and maybe start thinking about how do we do indoor visitation,” Shibinette said at a meeting of the state Commission on Aging. “But I came back today and our list is as long as it was when I left and there’s four or five new facilities added.”

State officials declined to provide additional details on the new outbreaks and said more information would be provided at a Tuesday press briefing.

Market Basket now requiring customers to wear masks

Update: Monday, July 20, 1:50 p.m.

A sign directs shoppers to go one way down an aisle in the Rye, N.H. Market Basket
Credit Dan Tuohy | NHPR

Starting Monday, a major New Hampshire grocery store chain is joining other big brands in requiring face masks.

Customers at Market Basket are required to wear masks or face coverings moving forward. Shoppers without masks can get them at each store's customer service desk. Market Basket follows the lead of other chains that have implement mask rules, including CVS, Walmart, and Kohl's.

- Shehzil Zahid

Survey: Revenue for substance abuse treatment providers has taken a hit during pandemic

Update:  Monday, July 20, 8:30 a.m.

A new survey from a New Hampshire non-profit shows that income for substance use treatment and recovery providers had decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group New Futures received responses from 23 organizations that provide substance use treatment about how COVID has affected revenue, costs and staff.

About 80 percent of survey respondents said they experienced an overall decrease in revenue since March – with a decrease in Medicaid billing accounting for nearly all the total decrease from insurance billed revenue. Most respondents to the survey say that they’ve been unable to hire staff during this time, and several had to lay off employees.

New Futures is asking the Governor’s office handling coronavirus relief money to allocate $15 to $18 million for treatment centers in the state. The non-profit says this would cover lost billed income and reimbursement costs for technology and PPE.

- Daniela Allee

Governor, congressional delegation seek National Guard role extended

Update: Friday, July 17, 5:14 p.m.

New Hampshire's congressional delegation has joined the governor in asking to extend the National Guard's role in the state's coronavirus response.

They wrote to the Secretary of Defense asking to extend the funding authorization that lets the Guard pitch in.

Guard members have been staffing COVID-19 testing sites and contact tracing centers, and assisting with food banks, unemployment call centers, and other response efforts.

The delegation's letter Friday echoes a request from Gov. Chris Sununu to President Trump earlier this month.

Sununu wants to be able to keep on up to 400 guard members through the end of the year.

He had to ask in May for that authorization to extend through September.

- Annie Ropeik

26 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations

State health officials announced 26 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, July 17, bringing the state's total confirmed number of cases to 6,165. There were no new deaths reported. 

Explore the Data: Tracking COVID-19 Cases in New Hampshire.

Of the new cases, two individuals were under 18. The new cases geographic breakdown: Six from Manchester, four from Nashua, eight from Hillsborough County not including the state's largest cities, four from Rockingham County, two from Carroll County, and one resident each from Grafton and Merrimack counties. Seven of the new cases had no identified risk factor, indicating community-based transmission, according to the New Hampshire Division of Public Health.

The state reported two new hospitalizations, with the current hospitalization number statewide being 24. 

- NHPR Staff

N.H. universities, colleges canceling fall sports due to COVID

Update: Friday, July 17, 3:09 p.m.

More college athletics are being canceled in New Hampshire for the fall due to COVID-19. UNH, SNHU and others have just announced their decisions.

UNH says is postponing the fall seasons for men and women's soccer and cross country, along with football, field hockey and women's volleyball.

They are still planning how practices and other on-campus activities will take place. They will decide in early fall whether winter sports, including basketball and hockey, will proceed.

Saint Anselm College, Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire Universities are also canceling fall competitions, as has the entire Northeast-10 Conference in which they compete.

Those schools say they hope to play the canceled seasons in the spring, if possible. Plans for team practices and other activities will be left to the individual schools, under NCAA and state guidelines.

- Annie Ropeik

Surge in other states delaying some N.H. tests

Update: July 16, 5:19 p.m.

A surge in coronavirus cases in nearly every other state in the country is delaying testing times in New Hampshire, one of the few states not experiencing a spike in confirmed cases in recent weeks.

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Approximately 70% of the swabs taken in New Hampshire are sent to labs in other states for COVID-19 analysis. Those labs, however, are struggling under a surge in demand.

“The two to three day turnaround times that we were seeing about a month ago have really exacerbated to seven, and sometimes almost up to 10 days because not of what is happening in New Hampshire, but what’s happening in the rest of the country,” Gov. Chris Sununu said during a press conference Thursday.

Public health officials say that all tests performed on residents of long-term care facilities and nursing homes are processed by the state’s local public health lab, where the turn-around time for results remains three days.

- Todd Bookman

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State to provide financial support for foster care providers

Update: Thursday, July 16, 4:31 p.m.

Foster parents in New Hampshire will receive additional financial support as they care for children who have suffered abuse or neglect.

The state announced it will use federal CARES Act money to give $500 per child to caregivers.

The money is aimed at providing foster children with additional socialization and recreational activities this summer. Applications will be released next week.

- Todd Bookman

Child care providers question state's reopening guidance

Update: Thursday, July 16, 4:21 p.m.

Some New Hampshire child care workers are asking the state to revisit their industry’s reopening guidelines, following the new guidance for schools released Tuesday.

Kim McKenney, director of Easterseals Child Development Center in Manchester says the public health protocols that day cares are being asked to follow are much stricter than those for schools.

“They’re not limiting their room to 10 individuals. They’re going to have 20 kids in a room," she says. "So why is it ok for school-aged kids to be in a larger group. Why are we being limited?”

The state’s back-to-school guidance does not specifically limit class size, although some districts may choose to do so on their own.

- Alex McOwen

N.H. state university system gets another $19 million

Update: Thursday, July 16, 3:33 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced the state is giving a $19 million grant to the state university system to help respond to coronavirus concerns and keep students safe upon their return to campus. The state previously directed $10 million to the University System of New Hampshire from the federal CARES Act.

The latest grant will go toward what the respective universities and colleges need to support operations and public health, including testing and personal protective gear. 

Sununu also said $6 million in new funding will go to the community college system of New Hampshire for tuition support - for existing students or new students.

The governor  made the announcement during a news conference Thursday in Concord. Other news items addressed include:

  • The "Self-Employed Livelihood Fund" application period closes Friday, July 17. Sununu said the state has received nearly 7,000 applications so far.
  • 1 additional resident has died from COVID-19. The state reported 27 new cases.
  • The state has closed two more outbreaks at long-term care facilities: Bedford Hills and Holly Cross; outbreaks at long-term care centers are down to three: Birch Hill, Greenbriar, and Hillsborough County nursing home.

- NHPR Staff

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2 additional deaths, 24 new cases

 Update: Wednesday, July 15 , 7:27 p.m.

Two more residents died from COVID-19 on Wednesday, state health officials announced.

There are now a total of 6,113 confirmed cases and 394 overall deaths, according to the New Hampshire  Department of Health and Human Services. The state reported 24 new positive test results July 15. Go Deeper: Explore interactive data graphics of COVID in New Hampshire.

There were three new hospitalizations, and the current hospitalizations are 22 residents, as of Wednesday.

The two latest deaths were two residents of Hillsborough County, both women 60 and older. 

Four of the new cases had no identified risk factors. Most of the remaining cases had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, recently traveled, or are associated with a known outbreak. The state says community-based transmission continues to occur each of the state's 10 counties.

Of the new cases, two individuals are under 18. Eight cases were reported from Manchester, and two from Nashua, with four others from Hillsborough County. 

- NHPR Staff

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Sununu says N.H. wants to build its PPE wares

 Update: Wednesday, July 15, 1:09 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu says he wants the state to have a two-month stock pile of PPE on hand at any given time in the event of a surge of COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire.

At a press conference Tuesday, Sununu said there are signs of improvement in the economy and in COVID-19 cases, but there’s still a long road ahead as New Hampshire continues to respond to the pandemic.

“This is not a mission accomplished moment, not by any means. We are right in the middle of a very long marathon.”

Sununu said state has that two-month stockpile of masks and gowns on hand, but is behind its target of having half a million gloves in stockpile.

- Daniela Allee

N.H. releases guidance for reopening schools this fall

Update: Tuesday, July 14, 3:45 p.m.

NOTE: This is a developing story and will be updated shortly

Gov. Chris Sununu unveiled back-to-school guidance for New Hampshire schools to reopen this fall. (Click here or scroll down to read the guidance document.)

New N.H. School Reopening Guidelines Leave Major Decisions to Local Districts

Professional development, class size, classroom health screening, and mask guidance are part of what Sununu describes as a "flexible" and "dynamic" document that provides guidance for districts to reopen or operate under hybrid learning models. 

"Schools can choose to be in a remote learning environment," the governor said.

"This entire document has to be practical. It has to be manageable," Sununu said at a news conference in Concord.

Face masks or cloth face coverings will not be mandated, but they will be encouraged, he said.

It spells out best practices for hygiene and facility cleaning or disinfection, and for use of common areas, including cafeterias, to limit crowding. Schools are advised to establish procedures to screen staff, students, and visitors for potential symptoms.

Onsite after-school day care for students of each school can be considered by school districts.

- NHPR Staff

Read the guidance here:

Portsmouth councilors back mask resolution

City councilors in Portsmouth passed a resolution Monday encouraging the use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The resolution doesn’t apply to anyone who can’t wear a face mask for health-related reasons. Children under the age of 6 aren't required to wear one either.

While there are no fines or penalties if you don’t wear a mask, the council hopes the resolution sends a message of support to protect the city’s health.

- Shehzil Zahid 

Judge rules against man challenging Nashua's mask rules

Update: Monday, July 13, 5:45 p.m.

A judge says Nashua’s face-covering ordinance and the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency will stand while they’re being challenged in court.

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Nashua resident Andrew Cooper had filed a request for a preliminary injunction as part of his lawsuit seeing to end Gov. Chris Sununu’s emergency declaration and the city’s rules requiring members of the public to wear face masks when entering any business, work site or government building.

He argued that Sununu lacked the authority to make the declaration because “there is no ‘emergency’ in New Hampshire,” a claim that Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Jacalyn Colburn said Monday defied common sense.

- Associated Press

N.H. mayors make plans for next school year despite no official state announcement

Update: Monday, July 13, 5:10 p.m.

As New Hampshire parents and students wait for Gov. Chris Sununu to make an official announcement about how and whether the state's schools will open next year, mayors across the state are already making plans for their own districts.

Click or tap here to read the story from NHPR.

COVID cases top 6,000 in N.H.

Update: Saturday, July 11, 5:17 p.m.

With 33 new positive test results, coronavirus cases in New Hampshire topped 6,000 Saturday.

One additional death and four new hospitalizations were announced. A woman older than 60 from Hillsborough County died from COVID-19, becoming the 391st resident to die from the virus, according to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.

To date, 5,013 of the residents to test positive have recovered. 

- NHPR Staff

N.H. deaths rise to 390

Update: Friday, July 10, 5:20 p.m.

Three more Granite Staters have died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths here to 390.

New Hampshire health officials say the three residents were 60 and older. Two lived in Hillsborough County, and one was from Belknap County.

The state reported 18 new cases. Of the total 5,991 confirmed cases since the pandemic began, 4,897 people have recovered. Four new hospitalizations were announced, as the number of current hospitalized patients decreased to 20.

- NHPR Staff

Snowmobile event 'Grass Drags' canceled due to COVID

Update: Friday, July 10, 2:39 p.m.

Organizers of a three-day snowmobile event known as the Grass Drags announced today the annual fall event is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was scheduled for Oct. 9-11. But town officials in Fremont expressed concern about possible transmission of COVID-19.

The event organized by the N.H. Snowmobile Association is also known as the Race Into Winter Grass Drags. Participants operate their snowmobiles on grass, as the name entails, and skimming across water on their machines.

- Dan Tuohy

1 additional death, 21 new cases

Update: Thursday, July 9, 6 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced one additional COVID-19 death on Thursday, a woman over 60 from Hillsborough County. There have been 387 deaths from coronavirus.

The state reported 21 new cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 5,973. Of those, 81 percent, or 4,831 residents, have recovered.

Three of the new cases require hospital care. The current hospitalization number is 24 patients. 

- NHPR Staff

Mobile food bank traveling to Lakes Region

Update: Thursday, July 9, 4:28 p.m.

A mobile food pantry is traveling through the Lakes Region to help families put food on the table.

The New Hampshire Food Bank and Army National Guard are hosting a food pantry Friday at Laconia Middle School. The pantry will start at 1 p.m. and finish at 3 p.m.

The Food Bank says that since the spread of COVID-19, one in seven people in the state don’t know where their next meal will come from.

The mobile pantry will also drive through Manchester and Nashua in the coming weeks. More information can be found on

- Shehzil Zahid

Catholic schools to resume classroom instruction in fall

Update: Thursday, July 9, 4:10 p.m.

Catholic schools in New Hampshire will resume classroom learning in the fall. The Diocese of Manchester is also announcing a new program to encourage students to transfer to their schools.

The Transfer Incentive Program gives transfer students from non-Catholic schools grants off tuition.

Transfer students from grades 1-8 will receive $1500 for the first two years of school, while students from grades 9-12 will receive $3000. The program is not need-based and will run July 1 - August 31.

- Shehzil Zahid

5,200 filed unemployment claims last week

Update: Thursday, July 9, 12:31 p.m.

Another 5,200 residents filed unemployment claims last week, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

That’s a slight uptick from the previous week, when 4,800 New Hampshire workers filed new claims.

The number of unemployed workers requesting benefits had been declining since it peaked in early April at around 40,000 first time filings.

- NHPR Staff

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State Library reopening with restrictions

New Hampshire's State Library is re-opening to the public by appointment only. The library will allow visitors on weekdays, in half-hour and hour-long increments.

They say the scheduling will leave time for cleaning between appointments. Use of masks and physical distancing will also be enforced.

State officials say walk-up appointments may be accommodated, but they encourage people to schedule visits in advance.

The library offers genealogical records, microfilm and other research materials, with more than 600 thousand items in its catalog.

- NHPR Staff

2 additional deaths, 20 new cases in N.H.

Update: Wednesday, July 8, 5:17 p.m.

State health officials have announced two additional deaths from coronavirus. In New Hampshire, 386 residents have now died from the virus. The deaths Wednesday were two women, age 60 and older, from Hillsborough County.

The state reported 20 new cases and one new hospitalization. It continues to record a decrease in patients receiving hospital care; as of July 8, current hospitalizations numbered 22 - the lowest since mid-March. 

Of the overall confirmed cases in the state, 81 percent of the patients have recovered, the state says.

- NHPR Staff

N.H. officially closes another nursing home outbreak; 6 remain

Update: Tuesday, July 7, 3:14 p.m.

New Hampshire Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced that an outbreak at Bedford Nursing and Rehabilitation is officially closed. There remain six outbreaks at long-term care facilities. 

Long-term care homes have been largely impacted by COVID-19, with more than 80% of deaths linked to these facilities. On Tuesday, Shibinette announced two additional coronavirus deaths; both were at long-term care facilities.

The state announced 19 new positive test results for the coronavirus, which brings the total confirmed cases to 5,932. There are three new hospitalizations.

Face Mask Questions

Gov. Chris Sununu said he encourages residents and visitors to wear face masks when out in public, and in situations where social distancing is impossible. And he says that remains the advice for anyone attending President Trump's rally Saturday in Portsmouth.

Sununu says he will be wearing a mask when he meets the president.

“We hear from the Trump campaign that they’ll be there wearing masks as well," he said during a news conference Tuesday in Concord.

- NHPR Staff

COVID-19 impacts substance abuse, disorder recovery efforts

Update: Tuesday, July 7, 2:10 p.m.

Specialists in the substance use recovery field say the pandemic is hitting them and their clients hard.

On a call Tuesday with Senator Maggie Hassan, Michelle Merritt, of the advocacy group New Futures, said many substance use disorder providers in New Hampshire have received COVID relief funds, but they are still struggling to support their staff and clients.

“Over the coming months it's really going to be critical to make sure our provider system which again is young and fragile has some protection,” Merritt says.

Providers say they need help connecting their clients to basics like housing, food, and phones to help them stay connected during the pandemic and avoid relapse.

- Sarah Gibson

New Hampshire reports 21 new COVID-19 cases; one more death

Update: Monday, July 6, 5:25 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that a resident of Rockingham County has died from COVID-19. The patient, who was identified as a female over 60, is the 382nd New Hampshire resident to succumb to the coronavirus since the outbreak began.

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The state also announced 21 new positive test results for COVID-19, bringing the state's total cases to 5,914. Several cases are still under investigation, the state says. The results of those investigations will be included in future updates.

- NHPR Staff

Related: Explore the data of COVID-19 in N.H.

5 more deaths, 43 new cases in New Hampshire

Update: Sunday, July 5, 7:00 p.m.  

New Hampshire health officials reported five new deaths from COVID-19, bringing New Hampshire's total deaths to 381. 

The state also reported 43 new cases, bringing New Hampshire's total positive corononavirus test results to 5,897.

- NHPR Staff

4 additional deaths: 380 total deaths in N.H.

Update: Saturday, July 4, 7 p.m.

State health officials reported four additional deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing New Hampshire's total deaths to 380. 

Overall confirmed infections are 5,871, up from 5,857 reported on July 3. The current coronavirus case tally is 824.

The current hospitalization bed count registered at 25 on July 4. To date, 569 residents have required hospital care at some point for coronavirus. Go Deeper: Explore the data of COVID-19 in N.H.

- NHPR Staff

1 additional death, 38 new cases reported July 3

Update: Friday, July 3, 5:23 p.m.

A woman from Hillsborough County has died from COVID-19, state health officials announced Friday. The resident, who was 60 or older, was the 376th Granite Stater to die from the coronavirus.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services also reported 38 new cases, bringing the state's total confirmed cases to 5,857.

Two new coronavirus hospitalizations were also identified, bringing the current total to 27 people. That's down from a high of more than 120 hospitalizations in May.

- NHPR Staff

State replacing defective PPE sent to N.H. nursing homes

Update: Friday, July 3, 8:16 a.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu says the state has replaced defective personal protective equipment that was shipped to some nursing homes in New Hampshire from the federal government.

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Sununu said the state has been working with nursing homes to make up for the defective PPE that the feds sent, which included medical gowns without armholes and gloves too small to use.

“We're making sure that as soon as we hear of those incidences, we're replacing it out of our own stockpile,” he said.

State public health officials also announced Thursday that communal dining and recreation can resume in long-term care facilities in certain counties. Facilities in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties, which have been hardest hit, will not be allowed to take that step.

Seven long term care facilities in New Hampshire still have active outbreaks of COVID-19.

- Jason Moon

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Sununu lifts quarantine for lodgings for N.E. residents

Update: Thursday, July 2, 3:11 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu is continuing to relax coronavirus restrictions in the state.

Sununu on Thursday announced visitors from other New England states will no longer be asked to quarantine for two weeks.

Hospitals in the state will also be allowed to resume procedures that are not time-sensitive.

The moves come as state public health officials announced 21 new COVID-19 cases and 2 new deaths in New Hampshire.

The 14-day quarantine requirement remains in effect for residents from states outside New England. Sununu said lifting the restriction was made in cooperation with neighboring states, and reports of declining cases. Read the "Safer at Home" guidance for hotels

The state has adapted its restrictions on lodgings since the early days of the pandemic, including an emergency order restricting hotels and similar businesses to provide lodging for vulnerable populations or essential workers.

- Jason Moon

N.H. COVID-19 Deaths Rise to 375

State health officials announced two additional deaths and 21 new cases of coronavirus Thursday. As of July 2, 375 residents have died from COVID-19. Dr. Ben Chan, state epidemiologist, said the two deaths were associated with long-term care facilities.

The total confirmed cases climbed to 5,822, but Chan said New Hampshire statistics continue to show promising signs. The state reported two new hospitalizations, the first announced in four or five days, and new cases have gradually declined over the past month, according to Chan.

The U.S. at large is seeing a surge in infections, but that is not the case in New Hampshire.

The 375 deaths in the state reflects the impact COVID-19 has on more vulnerable populations, Chan said.

He encouraged residents to continue to take precautions to limit possible transmission, such as maintaining social distancing and wearing cloth face coverings.

Health Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced the state has officially closed the outbreak at Villa Crest Nursing and Retirement Center in Manchester.

The state has identified seven current outbreaks at long-term care facilities, and it has closed 23 outbreaks since the beginning of March.

- NHPR Staff

Back-to-school guidance coming soon

 Update: Thursday, July 2, 8 a.m.

A task force convened by the New Hampshire Department of Education to determine how schools should re-open in the fall has sent their final recommendations to Gov. Chris Sununu.

The task force says districts should implement professional development on remote learning, and be prepared to provide remote instruction or a remote/in-person combination, depending on the circumstances.

The recommendations leave many of the final decisions - such as how to conduct screenings of staff and students, and whether to open schools back up - to individual districts.

Sununu is expected to give official guidance to schools by mid July.

- Sarah Gibson

Consumer Advocate Wants Rulemaking on Plan to End Utility Shutoff Ban

Annual Shrine Game canceled

The annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl has been canceled this summer because of the pandemic.

It would have been the 67th summer football game between two all star teams of high school seniors from New Hampshire and Vermont.

The annual event is one of 30 similar games across the country that raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The Shrine Board met Tuesday night and announced on Facebook that while disappointing, the decision was in the best interest of all parties.

- Lauren Chooljian

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Confirmed cases in N.H. now 5,802

Update: Wednesday, July 1, 5:30 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced 20 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state Wednesday. There are now 5,802 confirmed cases, 77% of which have recovered from the coronavirus.

There were no new hospitalizations from the virus. The current number of patients in the hospital stands at 32.

There were also two more deaths linked to the illness announced July 1 - two women from Hillsborough County. The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the state is 373.

- NHPR Staff

Lawmakers seek UNH COVID-support funds

Update: Wednesday, July 1, 4:44 p.m.

A group of lawmakers is recommending that Gov. Chris Sununu send $10 million to the University System of New Hampshire, and $5 million to community colleges, to help them operate safely next year.

The money would come from federal CARES Act funds for New Hampshire that are set aside for higher education.

USNH has already received its first installment of $10 million to cover COVID-related expenses, including converting spring and summer classes to online formats, and training teachers.

It says it would use the next $10 million for enhanced cleaning and safety measures this fall, and for developing a testing lab with a capacity to process 2,000 tests per day.

- Sarah Gibson 

Earlier updates